Goodyear Air Show

I took my family to the Arizona Goodyear Balloon and Air Spectacular on Sunday, October 22nd to see the Blue Angels.

Memo to the City of Goodyear: If you don’t have the appropriate facility, don’t host an event.

Once we got there, we learned that the parking situation (which was a dust bowl) required shuttling people into the event, because the lot was about 2 miles away.

After we waited 45 minutes to get on the shuttle, and after being driven to the event, the first thought after getting off the shuttle was, “you gotta be kidding me, An air show on the dust!?”

The “powers that be” placed the crowd and the exhibits (10's of thousands) on the dirt, which had the consistency of powdered-sugar. The dust was horrible, especially when a few dust-devils ripped through the crowd. Had I known, I wouldn't have gone. I feel like the venue was a bit of a rip-off, because the conditions were prohibitive: There was dust in everything, in the food, on the exhibits, and people weren’t happy. There were rumors of fights in the crowd on Saturday, October 20th in particular. The show itself was pretty good, especially the Blue Angels! WOW! We did left early to beat the crowds – my kids were done, and I wanted to minimize their exposure to long lines to for the shuttle.

Since I have young children, I bought upgraded tickets to the Cooperstown Pavilion ($35.00 each), which promised shaded seating, and tables and chairs. The tickets didn’t say, “You have a chance at getting some shade,” but it turns out, that’s all I got, was a chance, and no shade! Yes, I could have bought a few souvenir umbrellas… The tickets were non-refundable.

They charged full bore for the event and the food: $3.00 for 16 oz water, $7.00 for 2 chicken fingers and fries... I can only hope they take the profits and build a paved/concrete tarmac for future events.

Personally, I thought of the Soldiers that are in Iraq and other dust-bowls who endure these conditions with full gear while being shot at, and 40 degrees hotter day in and day out! However, the issue at stake is that the people that administered (and approved) this event were only thinking about profits, and not public accommodations. There’s also a health and safety issue in those conditions.

I’ll never go back to Goodyear Airport, and I’ll bet not many will either. It was funny. Before the Blue Angels performed, the PA announcer encouraged people to “stick around after the show to avoid long lines, then be sure to patronize local merchants in Goodyear. That sounded like a nice invitation, but all I heard was, “Stick around for 2 more hours of DUST BOWL hospitality!”

No comments: